Eugene Onegin / Salzburg Landestheater
Dir. André Heller-Lopes
“Leo Hussain, with the highly ambitious Mozart Orchestra, communicates the dances - from the popular to the stylised dances of the upper classes – poignantly and not infrequently with real poetical impact.”
“Leo Hussain bringt mit dem hoch ambitionierten Mozarteumorchester die vielen Tänze, vom Volkstümlichen bis zu den stilisierten Tänzen der besseren Gesellschaft, pointiert und doch nicht selten mit hochpoetischem Einschlag rüber.”
Traunsteiner Tagblatt, February 2014
“The man who holds everything together in a time-honoured way – singers, chorus, orchestra – is Leo Hussain. Under his baton, the Mozarteum Orchestra produces beautiful tonal colours, which provide an accompaniment to the lyrical scenes, inspiring the singers to top-class performances.”
“Der Mann, der das alles in altbewährter Weise zusammenhält – Sänger, Chor und Orchester – heißt Leo Hussain. Unter seinem Dirigierstab findet das Mozarteumorchester zu wunderschönen Klangfarben, die den lyrischen Szenen eine Untermalung geben, die die Akteure zur Hochform anspornt.”
Siegfried Steinkogler, Dorf Zeitung, February 2014
Falstaff / Royal Danish Opera
Leo Hussain's interpretation is purely exemplary…the orchestra in all its individual nuances, from softest pianissimo to the powerful tutti and his touch with the pace and timing is of the highest caliber.
Lars-Erik Larsson, Norrascane.se, October 2013
La traviata / The Santa Fe Opera
Dir. Laurent Pelly
“The third worthy of the evening was the gentleman in the pit, the British conductor Leo Hussain, who paced Verdi’s evergreen score intelligently, inserted a few uncommon (but not distracting) ideas into the phrasing and often elicited nuanced playing from the orchestra.”
James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican, September 2013
“At the podium for La Traviata is British conductor Leo Hussain, in his company debut, and he led with sensitive gestures, drawing out the nostalgia of the opening prelude with finesse.”
Charles T. Downey, Ionarts
, September 2013
Mark-Anthony Turnage Greek / Salzburger Landestheater
dir. Andreas Gergen / Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
“Hats off to the Mozarteum Orchestra, which knew how to shape every phase. Leo Hussain is exactly the right man to realize an innovative, differentiated score such as Greek.”
Redaktion Dorfzeitung, Dorf Zeitung, May 2013
Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict / Theater an der Wien
dir. Kasper Holten / ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna
“The conductor of the production, Leo Hussain, Music Director of the Salzburger Landestheater, was rewarded with shouts of ‘bravo!’. He led the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir with care and dynamic vivacity.”
Klassik Info, April 2013
“Under Leo Hussain, the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra played with beguiling clarity, ease and intensity. It is always a pleasure to follow Hussain’s musical interpretations. It certainly cannot be easy to make these fine musical threads glisten, and maintain long phrases, in the dry acoustic of this two hundred year old building created by Theatre Director and Librettist of ‘Die Zauberflöte’, Emanuel Schikaneder. But the conductor, orchestra and choir managed to do exactly that at the premiere. Even the complicated and awkward humour-filled rhythms hummed like clockwork. The musicians worked wonders in the Nocturne as well.”
Deutchland Radio, April 2013
“In the lyrical passages fragrant and slender tones are heard in the ORF Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leo Hussain, the current music director of the Salzburg State Theatre.”
Helmut Christian Mayer, Opernnetz, April 2013
Essener Philharmoniker / Mozart Clarinet Concerto & Shostakovich Symphony No.7
“What a brilliant début with the Essener Philharmoniker! Guest conductor Leo Hussain offered a richly contrasting programme of Mozart and Shostakovich, and cast his spell over both the orchestra and the audience… The conductor, in his mid-thirties, possesses unbelievable charisma, and the enormous orchestra picked up his every nuance, maintaining the tension throughout the 80 minute-long piece. This performance of the seventh symphony was an incredible ensemble feat, which definitely earned its standing ovation.”
Klaus Albrecht, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, December 2012
Wagner Tristan und Isolde / Salzburger Landestheater
Mozarteum Orchestra / dir. Eike Gramss
“Leo Hussain drew even the subtlest of nuances out of the score, and he brought the Mozarteum Orchestra up to a truly international standard with their richly varied playing in this demanding score ... The brilliant climax of the Salzburg production was the Liebesnacht in Act 2; the Mozarteum Orchestra played on top form, creating a shimmering blaze of tonal colour.”
Siegfried Steinkogler, Dorfzeitung, November 2012
“Leo Hussain ... kept the brilliantly prepared and noticeably highly motivated Mozarteum Orchestra in top gear.”
Karl Harb, Salzburger Nachrichten, November 2012
“The orchestra is tasked with filling the four hours of slow death with life. With Leo Hussain, the Landestheater has a conductor who takes great care of structure and balance, and from the beginning of the overture, he brought out the many chromatic details and the inner melodic lines of the score. He kept the Mozartrum Orchestra pleasantly taut through the long phrases, and created a springy, light and flexible Wagnerian sound, especially in the strings and woodwind.”
Florian Oberhummer, SVZ, November 2012
“The Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg celebrated an absolute triumph under the baton of Leo Hussain ... Under Leo Hussain, the Mozarteum Orchestra lured the audience onto the same dangerously rocking ground: the ground of Wagnerian harmonies, which – without the secure grounding of a fixed key – swayed in just the same way as the planks under Tristan and Isolde’s feet.
They made a full and colourful Wagnerian sound, from which the wonderful solo passages could bloom, like hope: both conductor and orchestra unfolded an intensely coloured sound world woven from rich threads, never‚ covering their sound, but also avoiding covering over the singers. And yet, the orchestra revelled in the intentional and excitingly built-up crescendos. This was pure delight, which raised you up – and also brought you right back down again. In any case, the Mozarteum Orchestra, under the leadership of Leo Hussain, was the real star of the production.”
Heidemarie Klabacher, DrehPunktKultur, November 2012
“The Salzburger Landestheater’s production boasted an excellent cast and the outstanding Mozarteum Orchestra ... Leo Hussain and the Mozarteum Orchestra’s performance of the piece made the radical nature of the protagonists‘ forbidden love tangible to the audience through the deeply moving score ... The top-class cast and the excellent orchestra made this a first rate performance.”
EpochMedia, November 2012
“The Mozarteum Orchestra and their conductor Leo Hussain were at the very forefront of this production. The musicians had chosen well-blended tempi. Their ‘Tristan’ was thoroughly powerful, and yet in places it was also refined and tender, almost like chamber music. [Their playing was] of a radiant beauty.”
Salzburger Nachríchten, November 2012
Rossini La donna del lago / Theater an der Wien
“Conductor Leo Hussain and RSO Wien savour contrasts and tone colouring of the music to present a brilliant rendering of the score.”
Christoph Irrgeher, Wiener Zeitung, August 2012
“In the pit, the musicians of RSO Wien, conducted for the first time by Leo Hussain, created magnificent Rossini sounds... unanimous ovations for singers and conductor...”
Maria Handler, Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, August 2012
Verdi La Traviata / Salzburg Landestheater
“Leo Hussain conducted the Mozarteum Orchestra with lively phrasing, providing the singers with a sensitive accompaniment from which both the vocal lines and the solo woodwind phrases emerged and bloomed. In this production, the orchestra’s performance had a chamber music quality about it, and the choir was on equally good form.”
DrehPunktKultur, March 2012
“Salzburg has a new ‘Traviata’ – the Landestheater’s new production of Verdi’s opera is of the highest artistic standards, both aesthetically and musically.
(...) And last but by no means least, the Landestheater’s production of ‘Traviata’ was musically very good. Leo Hussain conducted this sophisticated piece, peppered with emotionally and dramatically loaded melodies, with restraint. And yet he allowed the Mozarteum Orchestra’s rich sound to emerge most in those places where the score required it. (...) This was grand opera, ‘made in Salzburg’.”
Tageszeitung Österreich, March 2012
Mozart Symphony No.40 in G minor / Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
“Guest conductor Leo Hussain probably conducted one of the finest performances of a Mozart symphony for many years…the unity and vigor of the strings were impressive right out of the gate and continued unabated. Even better than enjoying the spatial opposition of first and second violins was hearing how solidly the cellos and basses sounded facing out. Hussain drew out the emotional complexity of the first movement’s development. The Andante was sublimely well-paced, given an irrepressible lift mad poignant by the drooping two-note phrases that pervade it. The third-movement minuet had the requisite dash and oomph, and the finale was aptly stormy and self-assured.”
The Indianapolis Star, January 2012
Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream / English National Opera
"The English National Opera orchestra, enhanced in the string section for this large theatre, perform magnificently under Leo Hussain, who caresses the score so that the sections for the fairies are light and magical and completely different from those for humans and is a real delight."
Camden New Journal, May 2011
"Conductor Leo Hussain works with Alden's vision, giving us a musical reading of uneasy strings and tense brass, drawing the percussive acid from the score."
New Statesman, May 2011
"The orchestra played with such richly textured sensuality under its excellent conductor Leo Hussain that I was shaken out of my suspicion that only the fairies’ music shows Britten’s genius working at full throttle.”Daily Telegraph
, May 2011
“Leo Hussain and the orchestra spun a web of magic, making this one of the most intoxicating and disturbing ENO shows in recent memory.”Financial Times
, May 2011
"The orchestra, under the incisive baton of Leo Hussain, dazzled."
Observer, May 2011
"The orchestra played with such richly textured sensuality under its excellent conductor Leo Hussain that I was shaken out of my suspicion that only the fairies’ music shows Britten’s genius working at full throttle, and ENO’s cast could scarcely be bettered."
Daily Telegraph, May 2011
“Under Leo Hussain, Britten's score has never sounded more beautiful.”
Independent on Sunday, May 2011
“The queasy glissandi and eerie celeste-glinting chills of Britten’s fantastical score were vividly laid bare by conductor Leo Hussain.”
Independent, May 2011
"Under Leo Hussain, the score glitters seductively"
Guardian, May 2011
"By far the best thing about this production was Leo Hussain’s exemplary musical direction of Britten’s masterwork. His conducting showed the ENO orchestra at their absolute best – every dynamic nuance was captured, every subtle shift in harmonic colour heightened without being overdone. Particularly beautiful were Britten’s haunting, spine-tingling string glissandi, and the flute solos that accompany Thisby’s melodrama in the play-within-a-play. The musical highlight of the evening was the final chorus, with Tytania’s soaring descant floating serenely above Oberon and the chorus of fairies, supported by some beautiful colours from the orchestra."
Music OMH, May 2011
“Leo Hussain conducted and the orchestra played Britten’s score with a clear, incisive idea of just how sinister and dark this music can be.”
Classical Source, May 2011
"Conductor Leo Hussain works with Alden's vision, giving us a musical reading of uneasy strings and tense brass, drawing the percussive acid from the score."
New Statesman, May 2011
"The orchestra played with such richly textured sensuality under its excellent conductor Leo Hussain that I was shaken out of my suspicion that only the fairies’ music shows Britten’s genius working at full throttle.”
Daily Telegraph, May 2011
Mozart Don Giovanni / Salzburger Landestheater
“The Mozarteum Orchestra excelled under the direction of Leo Hussain with a wondrously transparent account: dynamic, but not rushed, with plenty of room for even the smallest motives to develop… The sound was compact, seemed almost chamber music like and always blossomed into the overarching line: an ideal foundation for the singers. And the goings-on on stage were so musically and precisely related to the music: This became apparent in numerous gestures big and small which in an almost playful manner seemed to flirt with the continuo pianoforte. A treat.”
Dreh Punkt Kultur, February 2011
Janáček Katya Kabanova / La Monnaie, Brussels/ dir. Andrea Breth
"Fortunately, the music saved the evening (November 4). Under Leo Hussain, conducting the opera for the first time, the orchestra played superbly, the ensemble rhythmically precise, the strings achingly lovely, the brass braying for all they were worth, the timpani thundering out or gently throbbing their motto theme, the impact one of striking clarity."
Opera, February 2011
Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice
“Conducted by the excellent Leo Hussain, the impressive ensemble from Nice opened this memorable concert with one of Haydn’s symphonies - pure musical apotheosis!”
“The maestro showed the depths of his commitment with his sublime performance of Bela Bartok’s ‘Music for strings, percussion and celeste’, regarded as an absolute masterpiece of the 20th century. Hussain distilled the score to its very essence, delving into every little detail. He brought out its modernity, the perfect placing of each rhythmical element, and Bartok's own fascination with the golden section. A standing ovation rewarded the triumphant performance of maestro Leo Hussain and the musicians of the Philharmonique de Nice.”
Nice Matin, January 2011
Maurice Ravel L'heure espagnole / Manuel de Falla La vida breve
Oper Frankfurt / dir. David Hermann
“The Music Director of the Salzbuger Landestheater keeps the score flexible and colourful and animates the concentrated orchestra to heftily/heartily develop the musical points. A lot of applause for a very successful evening”
Andreas Bomba, Frankfurter Neue Presse, December 2010
“Leo Hussain is no stranger to the podium of the Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie. The Salzburg music director has already caused a sensation here with Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre. With Katya he has firmly cast aside his reputation as an assistant to various star conductors (like Rattle, Muti and Gergiev) and has become one of the great white hopes of his profession in his own right. It was simply terrific how he now ploughed through Janacek’s music with both passion and care, and let it blaze up from the pit, how he made sound colours glow, how with a breathtaking momentum formed a completely coherent whole. He managed to integrate everything.
Andrea Breth and Leo Hussain have staged a musically and scenically convincing Katya Kabanová at Brussels Opera La Monnaie.”
Salzburger Nachrichten, November 2010
“Hussain, who was appointed at Salzburg Landestheater a year ago, presents a rugged Janacek, made up of countless dazzling pieces of a musical mosaic. Romantic allusions, atmospheric sounds, traces of chant and stark modernity are to be found alongside the naive sounds of nature and desperate protest. What does this piece ultimately aim for? Nothing less than a new, anti-romantic, anti-idealistic idea of man. This is what Hussain argues. His Janacek writes tradition anew.”
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, November 2010
“Extraordinary musical direction by Leo Hussain: the young English conductor, who had already impressed in "Le Grand Macabre," proves he also excels more ‘traditional’ repertoire. He creates colour, lyricism and expressivity, but also virtuosity in highlighting detail and handling tempi. One feels he is in perfect symbiosis with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, who seemed galvanized by this collaboration.”
La Libre, November 2010
“Precise, elegiac and disturbing, the Symphony Orchestra of the Théâtre de la Monnaie under Leo Hussain shattered every illusion. The young British conductor, formerly assistant to Valery Gergiev and Simon Rattle, justifiably seems to be at the beginning of a big career.”
Deutschlandradio Kultur, November 2010
“Young British conductor Leo Hussain shows that this interpretation of Katya is wholly anchored in the music. He manages to reveal Janacek’s modernity to an almost frightening extent. Nothing is smoothed over, resolved or embellished. Rather, a bright light is being shone on the glaring dissonances, the intertwined rhythms and the bizarre colours of the score, which illustrate the tragedy of the drama.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, November 2010
“The astute conductor Leo Hussain aims not at magical sound or tone painting. He carves out these characters starkly and loudly, without artificially soft contours.”
Die Welt, November 2010
“Leading an orchestra at the top of its form, in this score of formidable difficulty, is the young conductor Leo Hussain, already known here from Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre. Hussain is the winner of the evening, and promises a great career.”
Avant Scene Opera, November 2010
“Andrea Breth and Leo Hussain: a transcendent collaboration."
"Musically, it's a delight: it is the third time I've seen this drama at La Monnaie, but this is the first time I have really ‘heard’ the music in all its intensity. Leo Hussain is one of the great discoveries of the De Caluwe era (with a triumphant Ligeti Le Grand Macabre already behind him). Sometime fluid, sometime abrasive, the score is a triumph of sensuality and intelligence: Bravo Maestro!”
RTBF Culture, November 2010
“The music and the drama were remarkably well matched in this production. Both were equally rugged : Leo Hussain’s driven conducting brought out all the roughness and savagery of Janacek’s music… rarely does one see such unanimity between the conductor, the director and the singers.”
Le Figaro, September 2010
Prokofiev The Love for Three Oranges / Grange Park Opera / dir. David Fielding
“Leo Hussain, the conductor, energises a fine English Chamber Orchestra into some high-octane playing.” Richard Fairman, Financial Times, June 2010
“Conducted by Leo Hussain and skilfully played by the English Chamber Orchestra, the music sounded fresh and clever.”
Fiona Maddocks, Observer, June 2010
“Much of the zest comes from young conductor Leo Hussain, who whips the English Chamber Orchestra into a rat-a-tat frenzy in the brazen March and crazy-mirror Scherzo.”
Anna Picard, Independent, June 2010
“Prokofiev's gigantic musical scherzo goes well under Leo Hussain's crisp and observant baton, its stunning repertoire of modernist paraphernalia vigorously purveyed by the English Chamber Orchestra.”
George Hall, Guardian, June 2010
Wiener Symphoniker at the Wiener Konzerthaus
"Leo Hussain has left a business card here, on which the word 'talent' shimmers in golden letters."
Der Standard, May 2010
Puccini Tosca / Salzburger Landestheater / dir. Andre Heller-Lopes
“This was a musically successful performance, as Conductor Leo Hussain urged the orchestra to volumes and dazzling effects rarely heard in Salzburg’s Haus für Mozart.”
Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR5 Aktuell), March 2010
“The third new production of Carl Philip von Maldeghem’s first season as Intendant of the Salzburg Landestheater was musically outstanding. Music Director Leo Hussain gave a vivid performance. The Mozarteum Orchestra have been playing to the highest standards recently, pulsating with energy and a magnificent array of incredible colours.”
Salzburger Nachrichten (online), March 2010
“Music Director Leo Hussain interpreted the full force of the drama, exactly as it stood in the libretto and the score. The first night was an absolute triumph for him: this was Italian Verismo in its most glowing colours, played by the Mozarteum Orchestra in top form; crisp, bright, with occasional emotional outbursts, instinctive, yet always with precise control of the sound. Hussain also encouraged the chorus onto a powerful performance, and gave the house ensemble excellent opportunities to shine. The performance was met with rapturous applause for everyone.“
Salzburger Nachrichten (printed version), March 2010
“This was a brilliant evening at the opera, greeted with rapturous applause – and rightly so, since musically, this production of Tosca left nothing to be desired…Salzburg’s Opera Director Leo Hussain once again proved himself a conductor with a great feel for the music, and a sense for the right tempi and moods…The Mozarteum Orchestra was a highly motivated and a fantastic musical partner for Hussain: Puccini’s music was in the best of hands and voices…Anyone wishing to hear Puccini’s music movingly sung and excellently played should make sure not to miss this production.”
Salzburg ORF, March 2010
“The audience were able to enjoy opera of the highest musical standards at the opening night of Tosca on Saturday at the Haus für Mozart. It seems almost excessive to praise the orchestra again. The musicians had already received enraptured applause for The Marriage of Figaro and Der Freischütz, and it was no different for this, the third new production of the season. Under the baton of Leo Hussain, the orchestra vividly underscored the action on the stage: brass fanfares, impetuous percussion, and meditative tam-tam.”
DorfZeitung, March 2010
“Firstly, there was the Music Director of the theatre, Leo Hussain, proving himself more than just a valuable addition to the theatre, as he goes from strength to strength with each new production. He is a bubbling source of energy with explosive passion, yet he never loses sight of order, structure and shape, and who is always attentive to the singers. Then there was the Mozarteum Orchestra, who played so enchantingly and on such top form in this larger than usual formation, that the audience could hardly believe their ears. To describe the performance as incredible, magnificent, phenomenal and sensational would be no exaggeration.”
Kronenzeitung, March 2010
“Under the baton of Leo Hussain, the Mozarteum Orchestra provided the foundation and stimulus for the singers…the performance was transparent and crystal clear, almost like chamber music. Even at its fullest moments – and reaching a considerable volume – the most astonishing tonal colours shone through: the quasi exotic effect of the tam-tam, bells and organ as Scarpia sang of “the roaring falcon of your jealousy”; the menacingly deep brass in the “Te Deum” (the chorus and extra chorus easily matching the musically high standards of this production); or the Hollywood-esque opulence (with cello cantilena) in the closing duet. You could tell how much the orchestra enjoyed spurring on and fuelling the agitation on stage.”
DrehPunktKultur, March 2010
New Year’s Concert at the Grosse Festspielhaus Salzburg
“The traditional Landestheater New Year’s Eve concert with the Mozarteum Orchestra was an unqualified success for the orchestra and their conductor Leo Hussain.
The orchestra played with enthusiasm and the highest musical standards under the Landesthater’s Music Director, Leo Hussain, who emphatically proved himself worthy of greater things.
Under Hussain’s lively and spirited leadership, the symphonic dances from Berstein’s West Side Story became an exciting dance tone poem about hatred, war and love; sometimes dangerously infectious with an earthy taste of rock music; at others, ardently lyrical.
Peter Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding was the apotheosis of ‘joie de vivre’, thanks to Leo Hussain, who performed it with both precision and atmosphere.
It was apparent from the start of the Fledermaus overture that this charismatic young British conductor, bravely introducing the pieces in German, wasn’t simply letting the orchestra, who were already fluent in the best of Viennese traditions, play - he was also imposing his own ideas, sensitively appropriate to the music. Take Johann Strauss’ Nordeseebilder walzes, for example. The introduction was lovingly shaped; the string of walzes breathed and changed tempo naturally; the stormy passages were far from falsely idyllic: the whole piece truly became a symphony with a walz time signature. This triumphant concert ended with the obligatory Blue Danube Walz and the Radetsky March, both sounding as if we were hearing them for the first time.”
Paul Kornbeck, Dreh Punkt Kultur, January 2010
Weber Der Freischütz / Salzburger Landestheater / dir. Annileese Miskimmon
“This production owed its success first and foremost to the high musical standards, as did Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the beginning of the season. At the helm of the highly attentive, audibly animated, enthusiastic, inquisitive and alert Mozarteum Orchestra, opera conductor Leo Hussain unfolded Weber’s score with smoothly organised gestures; both precise and delicate. This was not easy in the given circumstances – the small auditorium and dry acoustic – but Hussain demonstrated a superlative sense of tonal structure: with measured, remarkably agile and finely shaded tonal colour.”
Karl Harb, Salzburger Nachrichten, January 2010
“Leo Hussain’s decisive bearing confirmed the care taken in preparing and performing the piece. The Overture grabbed attention with its finely shaded details, the tonal colours that were far more than superficial, and the dramatically vivid interplay. Hussain made the most of the atmosphere, painted characterful moods using dangerously lively tempi, and the Mozarteum Orchestra, on top form, followed him through the woods and the house, the wedding feast and the dark night of fate with delicate musical commentary.”
Karl Harb, Salzburger Nachrichten, January 2010
“The second opera premiere of Salzburg Landestheather’s new season was a great success, thanks to the convincing musical performance… Under the baton of Leo Hussain, the orchestra excelled in this premiere: the horns resounded, the flutes trilled, the bassoons lamented and the violins sighed. The clarinets and oboes underlined the singing magnificently. The orchestra treated the audience to the highest standard of musical enjoyment, with vigour, momentum, passion and enthusiasm.”
Ingrid Kreiter, Dorf Zeitung, January 2010
Maxwell-Davies A Reel of Seven Fishermen / BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
"a searing performance, conducted by a first-rate Leo Hussain."
Iona Bain, The Herald Scotland, November 2009
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro
Salzburger Landestheater / dir. Christian Sedelmayer (Asst. Rudolf Frey & Nicole Brunner)
“The clarity in this staging came from the music – that was the true delight of this production. The new Music Director, Leo Hussain, was the real star of the evening. From the Overture onwards he negotiated every obstacle of this rich score with ease, allowing the tempi to flow naturally and delicately, and letting the music speak for itself without over-doing it. The exquisite balance of the newly formed ensemble of singers was apparent in the individual shading of the arias, the lightly pulsating pace of the ensembles, and the magnificently measured dimensions of the complicated finales of acts 2 and 4. The wonderful qualities of the Mozarteum Orchestra were also revealed; rarely have they played with such a full, tender, graceful, yet sparkling tone.“
Salzburger Nachrichten, September 2009
“The Mozarteum Orchestra and Intendant Maldeghem struck it lucky with Leo Hussain. The 31 year old British conductor coaxed a liveliness out of the orchestra that has rarely been heard from the orchestra pit of this theatre. Hussain chose fast, exciting tempi; tackling the transitions head on with ease and attention to detail, and drawing a rich variety of colours from the instrumentalists. Most of all, his attention was with the singers on stage, which is what distinguishes a good opera conductor.”
Nachrichten, September 2009
“The star of the evening was undoubtedly Leo Hussain: the British conductor led the singers and the Mozarteum Orchestra through the evening with verve. The musicians coaxed the most unexpected of colours from their instruments with liveliness and flexibility, and Hussain kept supreme control over the tempi.
In summary: it was a triumphant baptism of fire for the new singers’ ensemble; an exhilarating beginning for new Music Directorr Leo Hussain; and an exciting premiere in every sense for the Intendanz of Carl Philip Maldeghem.”
Dorfzeitung, September 2009
“The first triumph of the new Intendanz on Sunday night was undoubtedly the young Music Director Leo Hussain conducting the Mozarteum Orchestra and the ensemble of singers.
The British conductor proved his musical imagination with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro; showing his natural feel for the drama and the tempi, and filling the orchestra and singers with enthusiasm.”
Salzburg ORF, September 2009
“…conductor Leo Hussain led the orchestra and the new ensemble of singers with a great feel for the refinements of the score… The performance was met with applause that did not want to end, celebrating the young Mozart ensemble and the music which Leo Hussain elicited from the Mozarteum Orchestra. The audience thanked the performers by scattering red roses, and leading Salzburg SPO politicians applauded without interruption right up to the very last bow – this highly successful first night of the newly defined Landestheater promises great things for the near future.”
Salzburg 24, September 2009
Ligeti Le Grand Macabre / Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels / dir. Fura dels Baus
“It was fortunate that Leo Hussain is a conductor who knows how to be hard-hitting. He led the Orchestre de la Monnaie with his highly successful and inspiring musical interpretation of Ligeti’s score: razor-sharp and wide-awake, focussed yet flexible, imbuing every note with passion. You could feel the sense of expectation, the almost child-like anticipation of those moments in which the music changed its character altogether; for example when the celestial sounds of the dusky, deep strings representing the lovers gave way to the loud mechanical strikes signalling Nekrotar’s first entrance.”
Udo Badelt, Opernwelt, May 2009
"The Orchestre de la Monnaie have rarely been on such dazzling form as under the virile direction of English conductor Leo Hussain."
Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde, April 2009
"The Symphony Orchestra of La Monnaie performed to the highest standard under Leo Hussain. This truly gifted young English conductor underlined the unvarnished impudence of Ligeti’s score, whilst taking great care over the sensuous tonal refinement and the technical masterstrokes in both passacaglias."
Peter Hagmann, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, March 2009
"The music was swept away by British conductor Leo Hussain galvanising his orchestral troups, with joy and vehemence of the score, and bringing out every detail of the articulation and the slightest lyrical contours. This was great art!"
Michele Friche, Le Soir, March 2009
"Young British conductor Leo Hussain, making his debut at La Monnaie, demonstrated his ease in conducting opera, his energy and his sophistication."
Martine Dumont-Mergeay, La Libre, March 2009
"Conducted with both precision and invigoration by young British conductor Leo Hussain."
Christian Merlin, Le Figaro, April 2009
"Leo Hussain conducted with admirable precision and a grasp of the opera’s theatricality."
George Loomis, New York Times, April 2009
"In the pit, young Leo Hussain regiments his troops and displays an emotional grasp that is the hallmark of more mature conductors. After a sensitively crafted final passacaglia, even the terminally depressed would be ready to dump the Prozac in the pan and pull the chain."
Francis Carlin, Financial Times, March 2009
Birtwistle Punch & Judy / ENO at the Young Vic
"Leo Hussain was in perfect control of this difficult and allusive score; plangent, percussive and, at times, hauntingly lyrical."
Opera Now, July 2008
Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini / Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
"The difficult score of Berlioz was performed by Hussain as if by request of the composer himself - with dynamics, grace, virtuosity and passion."
Vedemosti of St Petersburg, June 2008
Rathauskonzert, Hamburger Symphoniker
"Leo Hussain brought out the orchestra’s warm tone, imbued with a soft and silky piano shimmer, and a clear sense of shaping. The young guest conductor proved himself to be a sensitive and charismatic person, who had clearly built up a close rapport with the orchestra over the space of just a few rehearsals for this, his Hamburg debut."
Die Welt, August 2007